East Bengal vs Mumbai City: Preview and Prediction
East Bengal’s performance has been better as compared to their 2021-22 ISL outing, but even then, the Torchbearers are nowhere close to where they would ideally like to be. With three wins and 9 points to their name, East Bengal is placed eighth in the standings.
Mumbai City, on the contrary, has been one of the very best teams in the competition. The Islanders have won six matches and are the only team to have remained unbeaten so far. With 21 points in their account, Mumbai City is placed second.
East Bengal had a poor start to their campaign as they lost their first two matches – a 1-3 defeat against Kerala Blasters and a 1-2 loss against Goa. They broke the duck in the third fixture, where Stephen Constantine’s men handed NorthEast United a 3-1 defeat.
That game was once again followed by a run of two back-to-back losses – against ATK Mohun Bagan and Chennaiyin. The Torchbearers have since won two and lost as many of their last four matches – picking up three points each against Bengaluru and Jamshedpur and going down against Odisha and Hyderabad.
Mumbai City did not have a perfect start to their campaign as they won only one of their first three matches – against Odisha, while Hyderabad and Jamshedpur held them to draws. After getting their second win by beating Kerala Blasters, Des Buckingham’s men were once again restricted to a stalemate, this time by ATK Mohun Bagan.
However, since that match, the Islanders have been absolutely unstoppable. They will come into this fixture on the back of four consecutive victories – against Chennaiyin, Bengaluru, NorthEast United and Goa.
Head to Head Record
The head-to-head records are swayed in favour of Mumbai City. Out of the four previous meetings between these two teams, the Islanders have won thrice while the other fixture ended in a stalemate.
The last meeting, which was back in February, ended in a 1-0 victory for Buckingham’s team. After an edgy first half which resulted in no goals, a 51st-minute strike from Bipin Singh helped Mumbai City clinch all three points.
Following a 0-2 defeat against Hyderabad, it seems inevitable that Constantine will be looking to tweak his starting XI. Charalampos Kyriakou did not get a start against the Nizams as he has just recovered from a facial injury, but the Cypriot midfielder is likely to feature in this game.
He could replace Alex Lima, while after struggling to make his presence felt in the previous match, Thongkhosiem Haokip could also be dropped to the bench. In such a situation, the English tactician could re-integrate Sumeet Passi into the team.
On the contrary, Buckingham will be faced with a dilemma. While he could field the same team which got a stunning 4-1 win over Goa, there is still room for at least one change in Mumbai City’s starting XI.
Left-back Vignesh Dakshinamurthy did not look comfortable at all against the Gaurs, with Redeem Tlang causing him a few problems. The Islanders looked much better when Vignesh was replaced by Mandar Rao Dessai at half-time, and in this match, we could see the latter from the start.
East Bengal (4-4-2): Kamaljit Singh; Ankit Mukherjee, Ivan Gonzalez, Lalchungnunga, Jerry Lalrinzuala; VP Suhair, Charalampos Kyriakou, Jordan O’Doherty, Naorem Mahesh Singh; Sumeet Passi, Cleiton Silva.
Mumbai City (4-3-3): Phurba Lachenpa; Rahul Bheke, Mehtab Singh, Rostyn Griffiths, Mandar Rao Dessai; Apuia Ralte, Ahmed Jahouh, Greg Stewart; Lallianzuala Chhangte, Jorge Pereyra Diaz, Bipin Singh.
Mumbai City is ahead of East Bengal in every single aspect – be it head-to-head statistics, current form or squad strength. Hence, we have predicted the Islanders to win this fixture.